Heavily used road to Costco gets fast, furious makeover

Businesses applaud city's effort to get the work done quickly

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Commercial Boulevard is getting a "fast and furious" makeover this week so drivers do not have to circle around pot holes on their way to Costco, Juneau Street Superintendent Mike Scott said.

The road was poorly designed to deal with the amount of traffic the boulevard now gets, which amounts to 3,500 to 4,000 vehicles a day, including heavy trucks, Scott said.

Businesses have mushroomed around Costco and light industry has proliferated in parts of Lemon Creek Valley.

Local contractor Secon won the bid for the road repairs.

"It's about time," said Zack Ziegenfuss of Sign Pro, a store along the boulevard.

Scott called it "fast and furious" construction because it only requires a fraction of the time and money of most road-repair projects: The cost is $200,000 and the time frame is about two weeks.

Because the road does not require extensive drainage and curbside work, it doesn't cost the $1.4 million price tag levied on other such half-mile roadways in Juneau.

Initially, the city was repairing pot hole after pot hole until the decision was made to resurface the road. Scott said the road's first coat of asphalt was too thin.

"It was a never-ending process," Scott said. "Within a day or two, there would be another pothole to fix."

With minor maintenance, the new surface should have a life span of 15 years, Scott said.

Sidewalks also will be added to allow for increased pedestrian traffic from Costco to newer businesses and a nearby bus stop.

Some shop owners said they have not lost much business even though the road is partially blocked. And if so, the benefits outweigh the costs.

"In the long run, it will be a lot nicer," said Bill Shattenberg, proprietor of Anchor Electric.

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